More than 100 members of the University of Chicago faculty are asking the Obama Foundation to move the proposed library honoring the 44th president to a new location because the plan as currently constituted is “socially regressive.”
The Obama Presidential Center will not provide the “promised development or economic benefits” to surrounding neighborhoods, the professors write and could cost more than $100 million in state funds.
“We are concerned that these are not the best ways to use public funds to invest in the future of Chicago,” the letter reads.
The library will also take over large sections of two historic public parks, Jackson Park and Midway Plaisance, and force the closure of a major South Side thoroughfare, Cornell Avenue. The professors argue it’s a “traffic-jam in the making.”
An Obama Foundation spokesperson said the library will bring hundreds of thousands of people to the South Side every year and will ”strengthen the economic climate in the region.”